Taylor guitars have always been at the forefront of modern guitar making. They make guitars for today’s guitar players. Their necks are very comfortable, their bodies are voiced well, and they have a guitar for every playing situation. They are the definition of a professional instrument of the highest caliber. The only market that they hadn’t quite hit yet, was the entry level guitar market. That is, until now. I’m proud to introduce you to the Taylor Academy series.
Welcome to the Academy
I had the pleasure to sit down with Zach Arntz, the national sales manager of Taylor Guitars (you can view our discussion below). He had a lot of great information to share. Turns out the folks at Taylor sat down and said, what do you absolutely need to have a guitar, and what can you leave out? Let’s reduce a guitar down to its simplest terms. So, they pulled out all of the things that make a guitar costly that don’t have an affect on tone, and left us with a new line of affordable and beautiful instruments. However, in true Taylor fashion, they had to add an incredible armrest for comfort and style.
Who is this Guitar For?
If you’re new to guitar, this is a great place to start. However, I’ve been playing guitar for over 20 years, and I would get one. This is a great sounding guitar in a nice tight and affordable package. A lot of beginners give up because they buy an inexpensive guitar that’s hard to play, doesn’t sound great, and they get discouraged and give up. Well, for a few dollars more, you can grab a beautiful Taylor that would impress anyone to look at, a Taylor that is very comfortable to play, and a Taylor that you won’t want to put down, and you know…a Taylor. It’s a Taylor!
What’s a tonewood? These are woods that possess that special quality that makes them suitable out of which to make instruments. What’s in a tonewood? Turns out, a lot. The choices that you make as to which tonewoods your guitar has can make a huge impact on your sound. For the Academy series, Taylor went with layered Sapele on the back and sides and a solid Sitka Spruce top. So what does that amount to? That means you’re getting a beautiful sounding guitar with a nice midrange. The Academy series will be great for strumming, picking, and playing a nice melody in a band situation. You’ll have that rich Taylor sweetness in a nice, warm, bold, and responsive guitar.
You can see below that I had no trouble playing this guitar, and here’s why. It’s incredibly comfortable. It has Taylor’s patented 24-7/8-inch scale length neck that makes barre chords, scales, and bending really easy.
On top of that, there’s that armrest that I mentioned earlier. You usually only find these on premium instruments, and you have one right here on your Taylor Academy. This makes the guitar very comfortable and that much more easy to play.
What else do you get from the Academy? Well, all models come with the sturdy, lightweight, and comfortable Taylor Gig Bag that we all know and love. On top of that, if you decide to go with the “e” model (electronic) then you’ll get the onboard ES-B electronics which come with a chromatic tuner on an LED display and a preamp which comes with tone and volume controls. You’ll also get Taylor’s incredible ES-2 pickup which is one of the most incredible sounding pickups on an acoustic guitar. The natural sound that you get out of plugging in your guitar will definitely impress you. I’ll show you the side by side comparisons in the video below. Finally, inside the gig bag, you’ll find documentation with great must-read material about taking care of your guitar against humidity and the nasty forces that want to destroy it.
How Many Guitars are in the Series?
There are 3 guitars in the line that all have another version with electronics. There’s the Academy 10 and 10e which you can see in the video below. This is Taylor’s Dreadnought shape which is nice and punchy and packed full of tone. There’s the 12 and 12e which is Taylor Grand Concert body shape. Finally, there’s the 12N and the 12e-N. This is Taylors nylon option built on the body off the Grand Concert. The Grand Concert body is favored amongst fingerstyle players because the lower bout gives you a lot of tone and projection with little work to get there.
Taylor Academy 10e: The Overview with Playing Examples
Zach and I will give you a first hand look at the Taylor Academy 10e. You’ll learn everything that you need to know and get a side by side comparison of the natural mic’d sound as well as going direct with the ES-2 pickup.
Whether you’re new to this whole guitar thing, or you’ve been around a while, this guitar is certainly worth your time. It’s fun to play, it sounds great, it looks beautiful, and it’s a truly impressive series from Taylor. What will they think of next?
Oh. Who knows? I don’t know. We’ll see. For now, you can check out all of the models for yourself below.